Join Bert Monroy for an in-depth discussion in this video Establishing perspective, part of The Making of Times Square: The Techniques.
Now what you see on the screen right now, we are in Illustrator. Now, Illustrator is where I created all the perspective for the image. Now what you're seeing on the screen right now is a photomerge of the four original photographs that I compiled to make up the overall scene of Times Square. Now, being Photomerge, it does tend to distort and bend things, so that they will fit. In fact, you can see it right here along this edge that the edge of this building is slightly curved, because it does go in there and distort things to make them fit.
Now, when we are looking at these things in real life, when we are standing in Times Square, we don't see those kind of curves or distortions that the camera will create. So, I created my perspective the mechanical way, the way I was taught way back in school a long time ago, and I used that principle to create my imagery. This photograph was put into Illustrator as a backdrop to give me an idea of positioning of the different elements. So then, I am going to turn this off and turn on this. Now, this is your work area. That's the actual document there, but it doesn't matter because I'm not confining myself to an 8 1/2 x 11 page, and I am not going to make a document that's 25 feet or whatever.
I'm working at a particular scale that you will see right here. I will explain that one in a second. Now, this one here is space. It's just a large rectangle, which is showing me the actual dimensions of the finished art. I set up a little scale here, so I can see that I can see that I am working at a quarter of the size, so that way I remind myself that I have to scale it up when I am going to use the particular paths. Now, in here I have my little horizon and some basic lines. Now the thing about the vanishing points, when you look at the panorama here, just the panorama, there are places here where the vanishing points are converging down in this area here.
But then there is also this area, where the vanishing points are converging somewhere way out beyond the edges of the image, which is why I had to do it in Illustrator, because Illustrator gives me this large workspace that I can use that is fairly memory efficient. Whereas Photoshop, I would have to create this massive file to accommodate all those other areas. So, we go in here and we look at the space. There's the scale, and there is the horizon right there. We see that one of my vanishing points is way out there, and when we turn on all the rest of the vanishing points and turn off the panel, you see that all these vanishing points are way beyond the edges of the image, and they're coming from different angles all over place, all these different lines that make up the final perspective. And they're all in their own layer.
So you can see each one of them has its own layer, Mr. Softee truck, which is right here, and the Wacom ad, which is right in there. The LionKing Facade, the Horizon, Cindy posters, all these different things are all in their own individual layer. So, now let's talk about this perspective. How exactly does that work? Right here, I have a box and we want to make it look like 3D. So, I am going to take that box and duplicate it right next to it like that. And I am going to connect the sides, so it's going to look like it's got the sides of a box.
We'll just connect this like that, come down to here, come back up there, and like that. Then we will connect this, which is the top, and go across to there, back to there, and over to there. So, now what I am going to do is I am going to select that box, this box, and this box, and I am going to fill that area with say a blue. Let's take this guy right here and let's make it a little darker blue, and this guy a lighter blue. So, there is our box.
If you really look at it carefully, you'll see that it looks like the back side is larger. If we were to look at this sideways, it would look like this. Here is the front, and then the back is actually more like this. Look how long that line looks compared to this. It's an optical illusion that we're seeing right. This line looks longer. You know it's the exact same length, but visually it looks like it's longer because of the third dimension. The third dimension tells us that that line should be smaller because it's further back.
If I was to take these three boxes and we will copy them down to here. Those are the boxes, and though I didn't make a copy, but it doesn't matter. I am just going to take this side right here. I am going to move it in just a little, take this side right here and move it up just a little, like that. And now, all of a sudden it starts to look more like a real three-dimensional box, because that line back there is in fact shorter than the one in front. In the next movie, we are going to get into an actual explanation of how these vanishing lines and horizons work.
In this installment, The Techniques, Bert shows the steps he took in Photoshop and Illustrator to create the lifelike detail in his incredible portrait of Times Square. The course follows him as he paints in steam, reflections, shadows, materials like fabric and metal, spot lights and neon light, and even 3D objects such as store logos and M&M'S. Bert shows how digital artists can recreate these effects at home, backwards engineering his artwork with painstaking attention to the tools and commands he used to get there.
- Working with reference materials
- Understanding Bert's alpha channel technique
- Creating complex reflections
- Adding fabric and other textures to objects
- Establishing perspective
- Using advanced blending techniques
- Creating patterns
- Working with Live Trace
- Creating 3D letters